Monday, October 12, 2009

Tipping the balance of power

Esther's story has been made into a movie many times. Talk of passion and power, intrigue and double crossing, danger and deliverance!

What struck me this time through was the balance of power.

Esther was an orphan, so Mordecai, who raised her, had the power over her.
Then she becomes queen, and she has all the power compared to him.
Then there is a plot to kill the king, and Esther makes sure he knows that Mordecai was the one who uncovered it and save the king.
Then Haman is promoted, and he has all the power.
Mordecai refuses to bow to him, so Haman has all the Jews put on a death list.
Esther goes before the king, with NO power, and pleads for her people.
Haman is killed, and Mordecai is promoted, so now he has real power.

The apex of the story is Esther going before the king. Here is the text:

12 -14 When Hathach told Mordecai what Esther had said, Mordecai sent her this message: "Don't think that just because you live in the king's house you're the one Jew who will get out of this alive. If you persist in staying silent at a time like this, help and deliverance will arrive for the Jews from someplace else; but you and your family will be wiped out. Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this."
15 -16 Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: "Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don't eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I'll go to the king, even though it's forbidden. If I die, I die."
17 Mordecai left and carried out Esther's instructions.
Esther 51 -3 Three days later Esther dressed in her royal robes and took up a position in the inner court of the palace in front of the king's throne room. The king was on his throne facing the entrance. When he noticed Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased to see her; the king extended the gold scepter in his hand. Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter. The king asked, "And what's your desire, Queen Esther? What do you want? Ask and it's yours—even if it's half my kingdom!"
4 "If it please the king," said Esther, "let the king come with Haman to a dinner I've prepared for him."

Esther risks her life and saves her entire nation from extinction! What a great story!!

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